Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Henry V (Modern, Folio)
  • Editor: James D. Mardock
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-409-7

    Copyright James D. Mardock. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: James D. Mardock
    Peer Reviewed

    Henry V (Modern, Folio)

    [Enter] Chorus.
    Now entertain conjecture of a time
    When creeping murmur and the poring dark
    Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
    From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
    The hum of either army stilly sounds,
    1795That the fixed sentinels almost receive
    The secret whispers of each other's watch.
    Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
    Each battle sees the other's umbered face.
    Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
    1800Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the tents,
    The armorers accomplishing the knights,
    With busy hammers closing rivets up,
    Give dreadful note of preparation.
    The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
    1805And the third hour of drowsy morning named.
    Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
    The confident and over-lusty French
    Do the low-rated English play at dice,
    And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night,
    1810Who like a foul and ugly witch doth limp
    So tediously away. The poor condemnèd English,
    Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
    Sit patiently and inly ruminate
    The morning's danger; and their gesture sad,
    1815Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn coats,
    Presented them unto the gazing moon
    So many horrid ghosts. Oh, now, who will behold
    The royal captain of this ruined band
    Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
    1820Let him cry "Praise and glory on his head!"
    For forth he goes and visits all his host,
    Bids them good morrow with a modest smile,
    And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.
    Upon his royal face there is no note
    1825How dread an army hath enrounded him;
    Nor doth he dedicate one jot of color
    Unto the weary and all-watchèd night,
    But freshly looks and overbears attaint
    With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty,
    1830That every wretch, pining and pale before,
    Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
    A largess universal like the sun
    His liberal eye doth give to everyone,
    Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all
    1835Behold, as may unworthiness define,
    A little touch of Harry in the night.
    And so our scene must to the battle fly,
    Where -- oh, for pity! -- we shall much disgrace
    With four or five most vile and ragged foils
    1840Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous,
    The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see,
    Minding true things by what their mock'ries be.